Down where the red worms circle like sharks
A few snippets from last weekend to reinvigorate a slumbering blog.
29/04/07 – 4.18 P.M.
I’m not a fan of Sundays, particularly heavy, sticky, oppressive Sundays like this one. "Muggy", I believe, is the mot juste, and cranky is how such days tend to make me feel. Throw in the additional factor of sitting on a bus (as I am) somewhere between Ennis and Gort (the Galway town, not the all-powerful robot) and crankiness could soon give way to morose irritability.
Happily, this has turned out to be one of those Bus Éireann journeys one might almost describe as pleasant. The radio is tuned to something other than 2fm (and playing at a discrete volume), there have been surprisingly few people yelling into mobile phones, and (best of all) the seat beside me is free of the usual 'eccentric' type (picking his nose, scoffing Monster Munch, sucking on Capri Sun etc).
My ultimate destination is Galway. More precisely, it's Roisín Dubh, where the creepy-crawling, rustic (and rusty) melancholy of The Handsome Family awaits.
30/04/07 – 7.00 P.M. (½ way between Ennis and Limerick)
Well that was quite wonderful. Despite the fact that Roisín's has lost something of its (still considerable) charm due to renovations, it proved an ideal venue to see Brett and Rennie Sparks conjure their musical daimons. We sat tight & snug up against the stage wallowing in the warm, dark meatiness of the songs. It was captivating stuff.
While the music (particularly Brett’s voice) is deliciously rich, it's the freshness and originality of Rennie's words that transport the songs to scary, moving and magical places. The subject matter may (superficially) share some common ground with other acts casually labelled "alt-country", but the observations are sufficiently vibrant, incisive and (often) playfully absurd to make comparable lyricists seem a tad banal and hackneyed. Anyway, the cumulative effect is exhilarating and involving – particularly when the band is a mere four feet from where you're sitting.
One other advantage of this close proximity was that it allowed my pal Alan (thanks Al) to pinch the set list. Here it is ephemera fans:
I'll sign off now as I'm nearing the end of this journey's return leg. Not only that but I'm struggling to stay awake after a day spent clearing a field of rocks (on a friend's father's farm) and battling to noble defeat in a fiercely contested bout of doubles snooker.
It went to the black. We choked. These defeats (like the HF's songs) haunt me…
[tags]Handsome Family, Roisin Dubh, Galway, Snooker[/tags]
May 6, 2007